Become a Happiness Magnet

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readDec 11, 2021

Repel the cling-ons.

Photo by ELEVATE from Pexels

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” — Mary Lou Retton

Think back to when you felt downhearted — the aftermath of a botched relationship, or missing the cut for your high school basketball team, or failing to earn a promotion.

If you wallowed in that bandwidth of emotion between hopelessness and self-pity for too long, you probably attracted some cling-ons.

Cling-ons are those wretched folks who feel depressed but put little effort into improving their situation. They’ll attach themselves to you like parasites. And if you don’t recognize the symptoms, that symbiotic relationship will siphon off your potential.

Cling-ons love complaining, badmouthing the system, and dwelling in the fixed mindset that dropped them into dire straits in the first place. These folks will hang around and feign being supportive — as long as you reciprocate their gloomy outlook.

But once you discover a new love interest, feel upbeat about a career change, drop a few pounds, or start seeing the sunny side of things — they will try to drag you back down into the abyss. I hate the crabs in a barrel cliché, but it is a fitting analogy.

Cling-ons emphasize the downside of everything by pissing on the slightest glimmer of hope. They can’t comprehend the point of change, so they overstress the “what if this goes wrong” of every scenario. And chances are, if you are picking yourself up after getting drop-kicked by life, you will listen to their negative narratives. They sound familiar. They feel convincing. They seem valid.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

They’re an invasive species like garden weeds. If you try to cultivate flowers in the fertile soil of life, cling-ons will creep up and choke out anything that tries to bloom.

Cling-ons feel like extra weight. They will hurt your back, knees, and spirit as you carry them around like cargo.

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·